NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 09.07-2262A

PROJECT TITLE: Lightweight Oxygen Tank Insulation System

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Many near term programs such as OMS upgrade and reusable launch vehicles require lightweight, reusable insulation for liquid oxygen storage and supply. Most recent work on insulation has been directed toward liquid hydrogen storage that, due to its low boiling point, generally reqires a combination of foam and purged multilayer insulation (MLI) for efficient thermal protection. Liquid oxygen has a higher boiling point and is a powerful oxidizer with severe material compatibility issues that must be considered in any insulation system design; therefore, hydrogen tank insulation is not necessarily the best system for a liquid oxygen tank. Technology Applications, Inc. (TAI) is proposing an innovative purged MLI system that provides the thermal performance, physical integrity, and reliability required for reusable liquid oxygen tank systems. The Phase I focus will be to develop and demonstrate the techniques for analyzing, designing, fabricating, and installing purged MLI blankets on a liquid oxygen tank. This will result in a lightweight insulation system that is easy to fabricate and install, provides consistent thermal performance during ground hold and on-orbit operation, and exhibits structural integrity under launch loads and ground-to-orbit transition.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

This insulation system is critical to many near-term NASA programs such as the Non-Toxic Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS)/Reaction Control System (RCS), In-Situ Propellant Generation, and reusable launch vehicles. The petroleum industry needs this type of efficient, long-life, and minimum maintenance insulation for long-distance transfer of liqufied natural gas (LNG) for their ground and underwater applications.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Scott Willen
Technology Applications, Inc.
5495 Arapahoe Ave., Suite 204
Boulder , CO 80303-1261

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Technology Applications, Inc.
5495 Arapahoe Ave., Suite 204
Boulder , CO 80303-1261